NEW YORK — One month shy of a decade ago, Johan Santana removed the burden of history from Citi Field. When Santana pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history, he opened the gates for others to follow.
It once again took a lengthy wait, even as the Mets rose to prominence with one of baseball’s best young rotations. Throughout the league, 39 no-hitters took place after Santana’s, including efforts from 18 different teams. But it was not until a chilly night at Citi Field on Friday that the Mets added another of their own.
Tylor Megill pitched the first five innings, before Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz combined on the final 12 outs to complete the historic 3-0 win over the Phillies.
The necessary offense came in the form of a two-run Jeff McNeil single in the fifth and a Pete Alonso solo homer in the sixth, both off Aaron Nola.
Although Megill faced little trouble in the early innings, his velocity was down and he struggled to put away batters, resulting in high pitch counts despite the lack of hits. The right-hander walked a batter in the second inning and two more in the fifth, which he finished at 88 pitches. At that point, manager Buck Showalter removed him in favor of Smith, who struck out four of the five batters he faced.
Rodríguez entered, walking the first batter he faced but quickly inducing an inning-ending double play. He and Lugo combined on a hitless eighth, before Díaz wrapped up the effort in the ninth. That allowed the Mets not only to complete the 17th combined no-hitter in AL/NL history, but win a key divisional game over the Phillies.